Product Design
My Role
  • UX Designer
  • Researcher
  • Sep. 2021 - Dec. 2021
  • 10 weeks
  • 3 x Designers
  • 1 x Researcher
  • Figma
  • Google Slides
Project Overview
Dumble is a personal finance tool for incoming college students to help them understand the student loan process and plan their future accordingly by matching them with mentors with similar life experiences, and providing educational tools based on their current understandings and future goals.
My Contributions
My contributions to this project were moderating research interviews, note-taking during research interviews, creating design probes for research,  ideation, product video editing, and I also took the lead on a few of the screens that were featured in our final prototype.
How can we help college students develop a more concrete understanding of the gravity of student loans (and how it might affect their lives)?
Design Problem
Inspired by an anecdote of parents installing a taxation system on pocket money for their kids, we wanted to focus on the area of household finance, and assumed that parents need a way of educating kids to develop sensible financial habits.

Because young adults are a more accessible user group than children, we decided to explore that, and discovered that young adults stand in a unique transition of households, and financial independence is key for this critical life stage. How they manage their finances now will influence their future households greatly.

Mentor Matching

Users are matched up with a mentor based on elements like their planned major, money goals, and availability.

Users get matched with 3 mentors initially, but can also explore the mentor pool if they feel they want to find someone independently. From there, mentors and mentees can communicate via chat within the platform.

Guided Learning

The Sorting Hat provides each user with a curated list of topics that it has deemed necessary for them to learn, ranked in order of importance and weighed against their current understandings.

From there, users can choose in which way they want to learn. Everyone learns differently, so they can choose between watching, reading, listening, or through a game.


Research Objective

Once we knew that we were heading in the direction of student loans, we were able to synthesize our research.

Secondary Research

Findings from our secondary research revealed these hypotheses:

Primary Research

All this secondary research was great, but we needed to talk to our users to truly understand who we were designing for. So, we conducted a two part contextual study with 7 participants in our user group with the goals to understand:

  1. Financial Education and History(e.g. Growing up, what was financial education like)
  2. Student Loan Experience(e.g. What was your decision making process like before taking out a student loan?)
  3. Future Plans(e.g. Do you have plans in place to pay off your student loans?)
  4. Feelings about loans(e.g. How would you describe how you feel about student loans now?)

After the initial interviews, our synthesis looked like this:

Diary Study

The second part of the contextual study was made up of a 3 day design probe diary study exercise that consisted of:

  1. Finance tracking
  2. Resource allocation
  3. Student loan payment structure

We used Google Slides to have participants actively engage in finance reflection. I took the lead in designing these probes in a way that was accessible to our participants and made use of Google Slides’ capabilities.

The insights that we formed after the design probe were:

This helped us to form our How Might We question...

How might we connect soon-to-be college students to relevant, trustworthy information so they can make sensible decisions about personal finance while pursuing higher education? 



With these things in mind, we wanted to rapidly ideate as many potential solutions as possible. So we each came up with 30 ideas for a grand total of 120 ideas. These ideas spanned from the most blue sky solutions that you could imagine, to the most practical solutions.

'Student Loan' Kid

This idea is a way for young people harness the knowledge of what someone who was previously in their same position did, to guide them on how to approach their student loan decision. People tend to learn from experience, and this is a way for young people to avoid potential regrets.

Browser Extension

This idea uses the power of the browser extension to provide resources to users, to plug their gaps in knowledge. The extension would offer information about the website (“trusted” or “unknown” source) or provides related information for users to click on.

Smart Loaner

This idea would aim to provide soon-to-be college students with a detailed look at how their student loans might impact their future life outcomes. The predictor takes in personalized information and uses the information to depict how the borrower’s loans may impact those outcomes.


The design principles that we used to downselect were:



Learn about student loans and personal finance through trustworthy sources and connect with others who share similar experiences.

Dumble meets you in the space between lived experience and factual financial information: where knowledge accumulation lies.

Product Video

I took the lead in producing the product video, using an animation software called Animaker.

Users' levels are based on numbers.

Quizzes use a number scale.
At the end of their quiz, users are given a number as their level, instead of score of “pass” or “fail”, which is negatively associated with school.

Start learning through "see my results".

Users are also able to see their results and immediately start their learning through the "see my results" option at the bottom of the screen.
This was a method of learning that was preferred by some of our research participants.

Structured, but explore freely.

When it comes to learning, topics are laid out in different tiers -- from foundational to advanced.
This gives users a recommended sequence of topics, but they are not required to adhere to this structure and are free to skip ahead to other topics of interest.

Understand how mentors are recommended to you.

From research, we learned that it is important for users to understand how these mentors are picked and why they might be a good match for them- so, users can view a blurb of why a particular person is recommended to them.
This correlated directly to whether they would reach out to the mentor or not.

Read and relate before connecting.

We also learned that some background information is important for users to know if the person is a good mentor match .
Research revealed that users would only reach out to mentors who fit their criteria.

Optional input fields that can be revisited later.

When users create accounts, completing beyond the basic required information is completely optional. This will allow users to build trust with the product at their own pace.
From research, we learned that some pieces of personal Information can be sensitive and not everyone is comfortable with providing them.

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